Both devotees and practitioners of visual art lost a local polestar recently with the death of Leslie Laskey.
Laskey, considered a bona fide scholar and gentleman by many, died on June 17, just two weeks before what would have been his centennial, on July 2. Bruno David – a close friend of Laskey and namesake of the revered Clayton gallery that regularly exhibited his work – had been liaising with select parties about his deteriorating condition a full week before the artist’s death.
Ladue News readers might recognize Laskey’s name: His contribution to visual art had earned him coverage over time by LN as late as a May 6 story saluting him on his then-upcoming 100th birthday, with tributes to Laskey from admirers. The magazine’s March 10, 2017 issue also profiled Laskey at length in an Arts & Culture feature.
As his centennial edges ever closer, the Central West End’s Leslie Laskey continues to do what he does best: conceive and create.
A professor emeritus of architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught for more than three decades, Laskey perhaps ranked as the metro area’s dean of visual artists. Until the end, he not only remained an integral part of the community but also, from his home studio in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, kept creating.
Through May 29, in fact, the Bruno David Gallery showcased new works by Laskey in an exhibition titled “Then & Now,” which had opened March 27.
For anyone who ever enjoyed the privilege of meeting Laskey, it will take little imagination to envision him even now busily kitting out some celestial atelier.
Bruno David Gallery, 7513 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, 314-696-2377, brunodavidgallery